Grounding, mindfulness and being present
Most people I see come with depression (thoughts and feelings related to the past) or anxiety (thoughts and feelings related to the future). It can be exhausting and relentless living in these mindsets.
To give people a break from this I advise them to think in the present, (easier said than done). The following technique uses your five senses: touch, seeing, hearing, smelling, and tasting. Use your five fingers on your hand to remind you how many you have to go through (it helps).
- Ground yourself by feeling your feet on the floor. Notice if you are wearing shoes, feel your toes in them. If it helps, take your shoes off to feel the texture of the carpet or flooring. Is the back of the chair supporting you? What can you feel?
- See what is in the room or place you are in. Describe the colour and shape of objects near to you. Is there anything further away? What can you see?
- Listen to the different sounds you can hear. Wait a moment and listen for more as you become tuned into the noises you will hear more. What can you hear?
- Smell the aromas and scents around you. Is there a smell of paint, food or grass etc in the air? What can you smell?
- Taste the last piece of food or drink you had in your mouth. Do you have a dry mouth? What can you taste?
Lastly, notice your breathing is it slow or fast? Take your time, breathe in for a count of four and out for a count of second. Pause before you inhale to slow the pace of your breathing. Your heart rate will naturally slow down, as you take control of your breathing. Self-soothe, say 'I am okay' internally or externally, and repeat as necessary.
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About Nicola Griffiths
My background is with people who have experienced trauma, childhood abuse, domestic violence, depression and anxiety. I have an interest in Dissociative Identity Disorder. I was a children and families social worker and I worked on the leaving care team. Dip in therapeutic counselling, BA Hons in applied social studies, Dip in social work, NNEB.… Read more
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